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Monday, May 29, 2023

Delaware City to Cape May, anchor

This will be a good news/bad news/good news type of post.

First, the good news

After a Captain's briefing by Tim (side note: Tim was the dockmaster of Delaware City Marina, and he always goes above and beyond the call of duty. In short, he rocks. Now back to the post...) all 6 of us who attended knew we had a window before a Nor-Easter would pounce. The sooner we left Dodge, the better. Tim's words were, "You want to get to Cape May by noon if possible. Now's not the time to spare the diesel!" Words of wisdom.

Leaving the channel before sun up.
A skinny entrance, but good depth at the marina.
We were up around 4:30 which gave us time to have coffee before getting underway. Engines on at 5 am, and we were pulling off the dock by 5:15.

As predicted, the ride was awesome. To add to the ease of it, we got to ride a decent out-flowing tide towards the Atlantic, getting us to 10 knots. While the weather apps all said the winds would kick up around 2 pm, just as we boated into the Cape May channel right around 11:45, I noted the first gusts over 20 mph. So, yay!

Not many passed us today, but man, the wakes!
Now, the bad news:

The ride to Cape May is about 6 hours, a little less for us since we had the tide with us. The first 4 hours were outstanding. Great visibility, great sky, great water, nearly no winds. With the exception of the occasionally freighter passing by, we had 0 wakes.

Suddenly both of us noticed a noise, as if another boat was running right beside us. We looked out to see what could be that close. Then I noticed the starboard engine was getting hotter... and hotter... and hotter. Once it reached 200 degrees we backed it off to idle to let it cool. Russ went into the engine room to check for obvious issues, like a broken fan belt. Not the problem.

Over the last couple months Russ noticed a small amount of coolant leaking from the starboard engine. He topped it off. It did take a fair bit, so... maybe that? Nope, the engine still makes a weird droning noise and still over heats.

Port engine hummin' along, starboard,
not so much. And it's still 195 degrees.

Maybe we snagged something on the prop? Nope... if we revved the engine in idle (so the prop wasn't spinning) the engine makes the same noise. We limped into Cape May and got anchored on 1 engine.

Quick intermission before returning to our story:

After some quick naps I made a spaghetti lunch. While eating I notice another boat had joined our anchorage, and (always a shock) it's an Endeavour named High Tide -- 40 foot model with a fly deck, like Cat-n-Dogs. They are Kevin and Mary King, doing the loop. We watched as they anchored then hailed them, as Endeavour folk do. We aren't many! Some quick chit chat, "where are ya headed?", yes, he's headed up the JICW too. Yay, a buddy boat! 

So, if we can just get this engine fixed...

Back to good news:

While working on the engine's raw water pump (which also cools the engine) Russ found it. Or rather he didn't find it. A small "key" was missing; it's a round piece about the size of a dime that holds a large gear in place. Russ had been talking to a number of folks both while underway and at anchor about our issue. Now that he had an idea of what he needed he called them back, asking advice.

Looks like misc parts but those are 2 of the
3 keys we needed. The third is already in place.
Turns out Kevin of High Tide was a diesel mechanic. He doesn't have the part but he's confident he can make one from washers he had. Yep, he's got machine shop stuff on his vessel! All Russ has to do is get the pump over to him and see what he can do. 

What a small wonder! Of all the people to anchor just feet from us, it's the guy that can make a motor part... AND he's a looper.... AND he owns an Endeavour! Such is boat life.

A little bit of a trick in the wind but Russ dinghy-ed over and came back about 45 minutes later, tiny pieces in hand. Kevin didn't make one for us, he made 3, just in case.

One slipped in nicely and locked the gear in place. We're too tired to get to it tonight. So, stayed tuned for our next chapter, "Does it work?" Same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.

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